Apple’s mobile operating system is being updated and the new version of the system that powers iPhones and iPads is iOS 7.
iOS 7 was previewed a few months ago at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, but won’t be officially released until the fall 2013.
However in the interim, Apple has been releasing beta versions of iOS 7 to developers so they can make apps for the new system. And the latest beta version (what’s called iOS 7 beta 4) has code that reveals insight to the much-rumored fingerprint feature that is expected to be in the next iPhone.
According to nydailynews.com:
“A folder labeled; Biometric Kit, was discovered in the coding for Apple’s upcoming iPhone and iPad software. Its content references iPhone users pressing their thumbs to their device.
“The mysterious folder was discovered during developer beta testing for iOS 7 just after its release to developers Monday.”
The fingerprint feature has been one of the most anticipated features of the next iPhone, presumably going to be called iPhone 5S, since Apple bought embedded security company AuthenTec. Although how the feature will be ultimately implemented is still up in the air, it would nevertheless be groundbreaking.
As reported by zdnet.com:
“The user-interface for the fingerprint-scanning system is complete and the technology will be used for unlocking the phone, but it is unclear if biometrics will be leveraged for an Apple payment system based on the user’s iTunes account or if it will be integrated into its affinity card app, Passbook.”
The implications for what the feature could eventually become is far reaching. As stated by forbes.com:
“Fingerprint sensor in iPhone 5S is much more than a gimmick. This + iCloud keychain = end of passwords. So this is not just about security, but also convenience. If iCloud keychain converts and safeguards all of your passwords that you—and only you—can access via your iPhone, then Apple will have scored a tremendous usability coup that potentially makes its phone the key to your life—quite literally.”
This exactly the type of groundbreaking technological feature that Apple needs for it’s iPhones and iPads to reclaim dominance in the mobile device space. We are accustomed to Apple introducing grandiose ideas like their voice-activated assistant, Siri. But for the last few months they have been losing ground to Samsung. This new feature will help them reclaim their No. 1 spot.